I know Halloween is only one week away but I hope it's not too late to share the first of many in an Applique Series! A fun little back story...when I first started to sew, I began with quilting, but Southern Sewing Co. actually started with applique shirts on Etsy. It's fun to see how things evolve over the years!
Before losing you with the word 'applique' you DO NOT need an embroidery machine for ANY of the shirts in this series. Just a regular sewing machine will do!
First up in this series is a Halloween shirt, perfect for a little girl!
Below, I'm listing the supplies that I used to make this exact shirt in a size 4. However, read below for more info on this, shirt info, and sizing. For the record...I do not recommend washing this shirt as normal. The tulle skirt is pretty delicate!
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Supplies: Notes on Supplies Below
Monag Girl's Long Sleeve White Shirt- Runs big
Orange Ribbon- 7" cut
1/2" Black Ric Rac- 5" cut
Fabric for the legs and shoes
Purple, Orange, and Black Tulle
Scissors- these are my absolute favorite
Note on Supplies: Many of these supplies were purchased at WalMart, such as the fabric, tulle, ric rac and ribbon. You only need a VERY small amount of each of these, so consider shopping in the discount bin (or your scrap pile) if you're just trying to make this shirt. Scraps work great! You can also get creative with the skirt. I purchased all of these things at least 5 years ago and still have plenty to keep making these shirts. Do not go crazy purchasing unless you plan to make many of them!
Note on the Shirt: I got an amazing deal on a ton of Monag shirts years ago on a Marketplace and am still working off of these. I linked above to an Amazon listing for this exact shirt that I'm using. They are great quality but do run a little big and are pricey. Try looking at Hobby Lobby in their blanks section or even using a shirt you already have.
Quick Jump Links:
1. First step! Download the Free Witch's Legs Template above.
Don't forget to print at 100% to scale. This template was created for a shirt sized 2-4. However, resize this template in any way you want! If you need to make it so big that only one leg fits on the page, just print that one leg out. Trace one leg, flip it over, then trace the second leg.
2. Trace the template onto the paper side of your HeatnBond Lite.
Remember: When tracing multiple elements to applique, you have to trace them individually on to the HeatnBond Lite. You will trace the entire shoe, then move over to trace the leg/sock. They won't connect. When tracing the leg, add an extra 1/4" at the bottom. This is so we can overlap the shoe on the leg. This will make more sense in the video!
3. Fuse the HeatmBond to the BACK of your fabrics. If you fuse it to the front, you'll quickly realize the mistake you've made (speaking 100% from experience here). Keep in mind that if your fabric is directional, you'll want to think long-term about how it will show up. For example, I'm using stripes. I knew that I wanted my stripes to run long ways and look the same. So, I placed the top of my legs in the same color stripe, facing the same direction. After fusing to the back of your fabric, cut out your shapes. This can go quicker if you use a rotary blade and ruler for the socks, however, scissors work just fine!
4. Now that you have your shoes and legs cut out, it's time to fuse these onto your shirt. Start by folding your shirt in half, and ironing a crease down the middle. This will serve as a reference point to the center of the shirt as you decide where you want your witch's legs to go.
Remove the paper backing from your HeatnBond pieces and place them on your shirt. Make sure that the shoe overlaps the leg just a little. Fuse your pieces onto the shirt.
5. Take your shirt to your sewing machine. Sew closely around the legs and shoes. This is where the "Raw-Edge Applique" comes in.
Raw-Edge Applique means that instead of completely encasing the edges of your design with a zig-zag stitch, we are using a straight stitch and leaving the edges 'raw'. This is basically like a top stitch around your design. To do this, sew as close to the edge of each of your elements as possible without going off the edge. By doing this, after washing, the edges fray ever so slightly, creating something beautifully unique! I do this with all of my baby quilts and shirts and love the way it looks. Not into this idea? Use a zig-zag stitch around your witch instead!
6. Let's make some bows! This part will definitely be easier if you watch the video above! First, thread your needle with a color thread that matches your bow. I like to run the thread through the needle and meet it back to the end, then tie a knot. Now that this is ready to go, we're going to take a 7" piece of ribbon to create the bow.
Begin by making a loop on the right side of the ribbon. Take the left tail and fold it behind the loop you just created. There should be three pieces of ribbon overlapping in the center and it should resemble a bow. You may need to carefully adjust the loops or tails to make it more symmetrical.
Using the needle and thread you've already put together, push the needle directly into the center of the bow. Next, use the thread to wrap around the center of the bow from the top to the bottom, around and around. This will keep the bow in place. During this process, make sure the bow keeps its shape. Once you're happy with your bow and you've made about 10 circles around the center, push your needle back through the center of the bow, ending in the back.
DO NOT detach the thread from the bow.
7. Next, let's attach our bows to our shoes! We are doing this instead of buckles. However, if you're making this shirt for a boy or just have a cuter idea, just skip this step!
To attach the bow to the shirt, run the needle down exactly where you want the bow to go. You need two hands for this part in my opinion; one to keep the bow in place, and the other to run the needle! Bring your needle back up just a hair above the bow, right over the center. Go over the center and put the needle back down just below it. We're basically creating this circle stitch over the middle of the bow several times, ensuring that it stays in place. When you're ready, tie off in the back by running your needle under your thread a few times and then tie a knot. Cut the end. Repeat these steps for the second bow on the other side!
8. Making the tutu/skirt. First, you will need to cut one 5" piece of ric rac and 5" cuts of tulle (these size cuts only work for this size template. If you've resized at all, reconfigure the amount of ric rac and tulle you'll need by just measuring what you think will look the best). The amount of tulle you'll need depends on how many colors you're using and how long/how full you want your mini tutu.
Take one piece of tulle, twist it in the middle, then fold it in half. Align this just under the first top arch of your ric rac and clip it into place. If you align it to the very top of the ric rac, you run the risk of it showing through at the top after sewing. I like to come down just a little from the top before clipping. Repeat this step all the way down the length of your ric rac. Add more/less as you desire! I like to get creative with the pattern of colors. When you're finished, using a matching thread, sew down the ric rac to hold your tulle in place. This is done by just straight stitching along the ric rac. I did this twice just for safekeeping.
Now is a great time to either use a light or fray check on the edges of your ric rac to make sure it doesn't come undone.
9. Last stop! Let's sew the skirt to the shirt. For me, it was easiest to pin the skirt to the shirt. Next, sew the skirt into place!
Halloween applique shirt complete! Using this same trace/fuse method...you can add a name or other cute elements to this! Find me @southernsewingcompany on Instagram and tag me with what you make. I would LOVE to see it! I've got more shirt tutorials coming soon.
Until next time...